The Destiny 2 level cap is higher than ever, thanks to its latest expansion. The Black Armory is in full swing and with it come a lot of new goodies. You just need to be pretty high level to get it. This new “Power level” cap is pretty high — a whopping 650, or 50 levels higher than the Destiny 2: Forsaken level max. Meanwhile, Bungie has announced that all of year two’s three planned expansions will increase the level cap even more.
So it’s time, once again, to level up, and to maximize your chances of gaining the most Power possible each week.
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First things first. You want to reach level 50, if you haven’t already. Reaching the game’s maximum “normal” level will open up a world of new gear for you, so play through the campaigns and you should hit 50 in no time. Forsaken buyers can also use their level boost to get higher, quicker.
After that, you need to deal with the game’s “soft caps” on Power. These are the milestones where Destiny 2 stops dropping gear that’s much better than your current level, except from very specific sources. The soft caps are at 500, 520, and 560 (assuming you own Forsaken). To reach soft caps, you need to grind out things like public events, Strikes, and Crucible.
After that, there will be a slew of activities on the in-game director that offer Powerful gear, marked by glowing gold indicators. This is a huge key when it comes to leveling up your Power. You’ll want to save Powerful gear activities for the end to maximize how much Power you gain and blow past soft caps.
The best way to level up in Destiny 2 is by doing weekly activities which reward Powerful gear. However, not all Powerful gear is the same. Basically, Powerful gear drops in different tiers, but the game does not tell you this. That’s what we’re here for.
Certain activities only drop loot at one level higher than your current total Power level. This will often lead to certain items dropping at lower levels than what you already have, since the Power levels of your different pieces of gear will most likely be all over the place.
Say your chest piece is 610, but everything else is around 605. That puts your Guardian’s total Power at 606. You could do something like the daily Crucible activity and receive another chest piece at 607. It’s technically better your actual level, but doesn’t improve your Power at all. You will, sadly, need a certain amount of luck to advance.
Order of Operations
So, in short, you should do daily and weekly activities in an order like this:
Weekly Flashpoint, Crucible daily, Gambit daily, Strikes daily, Story missions, and Ikora’s 20 bounties. These will all offer low-tier Powerful rewards. Do these first to hope for the best in some minor bumps in Power. If you go up in Power, that’s great! The higher tier Powerful rewards will then drop at even higher levels. If not, you had some bad luck. You’re like a lot of Guardians out there who got the same pair of boots four times in a row.
Once you complete the tasks above, it’s time to head for the next tier of Powerful drops. This includes the Nightfall Strike, Gambit weekly, Crucible weekly, the weekly mission in the Dreaming City, and completing Petra’s eight daily missions. This tier of Powerful drops will drop even higher than the activities before these.
Up next is the highest tier of Powerful drops, including the Last Wish Raid, weekly Dreaming City rewards, and the Ascendant Challenge in the Dreaming City. These have the chance to drop even higher than the two previous sets of activities.
Outside of this order of operations, and once you’ve exhausted your activities for the week, you can always hope for an Exotic or Prime Engram to drop. Exotics and Prime Engrams will always drop at five or six Power higher than your Power level. And, thankfully, Prime Engrams drop much more frequently with the release of Black Armory. So while the power curve is technically the same, you should level up faster now than in vanilla Forsaken.
Tuesday is the day you want to make sure to hop on and play Destiny 2. That’s when weekly activities reset, giving you the chance for Powerful rewards all over again.